ALL RIDE WITH...
We from “The Women All Ride” – collective want to represent the cycling world in all its diversity. Therefore we have initiated the category: ALL RIDE WITH… Every month we present a unique personality here: A person who has caught our attention by her presence, her appearance, her sporting achievements or thanks to her ability to inspire and motivate. Each one is different and unique.
In the form of an interview, the persons presented can choose their preferred questions from several and answer them.
Can you think of someone immediately? Then send us a message! We are looking forward to your suggestions and can’t wait to meet more inspiring personalities!
The first The Women ALL RIDE WITH...
Grinshina Kartik from india
Grinshina from Bangalore, South India, is an impressive long distance cyclist who has stood out for her strong performances in various brevets in Asia and Europe: ISAN 2020 finisher, Everesting 2020, PBP 2019 and many more.
Cycling is for me….
One Word: Freedom!
1. Wie bist du zum Radfahren/Radsport gekommen?
I got into cycling around the age of 7 when I got my first bicycle. I distinctly remember going over a little bump on the road and the bike being in the air for a few seconds. There were many happy days spent going over and over that bump to be in the air. Then I another time I took off on a typical large men’s adult bicycle as an 9 year old and not knowing how to stop as my foot wouldn’t reach the ground. The only way was to stop by hitting the gate of a friends house. While growing up, I’ve had a bicycle always. During my college days my college was 250kms away, and I lived in the Hostel I used a bicycle for exploring places.
BACK ON THE BIKE AFTER A LONG BREAK
While working in the US in the early 2000s too, I had a humble bicycle to commute and explore places on weekends. Then marriage and baby happened and I’d lost touch with cycling.
In 2013, I ended up buying a bicycle and wanted to reacquaint myself with cycling. I was scared to venture out alone and stuck to mostly to drop and pickup my son to his preschool. And then I met friends who used to go exploring places on the weekends. I’d wait for the weekend all week, excited to go exploring.
I was fascinated by people who could ride 200kms within 13.5 hrs
As a sport, I took up long distance cycling – Randonneuring in 2018. I was fascinated by people who could ride 200kms within 13&1/2 hrs. I thought it was superhuman. Till then I used an app called Endomondo to log my rides. But many Randonnuers were using Strava. So I moved to Strava too. And was amazed to see even some women riders logging massive distances.
I thought that would be perfect for me. I could just be alone and go to strange new places and be an adventurous explorer all over again. Anything that allows me to be that free, adventurous little girl from my childhood.
2. WHO INSPIRES YOU on the BIKE?
Anyone who consistently brings their A game to the ride. When I’m slacking I repeat to myself Grinny focus, Ride like that person.
3. What can the cycling scene do better?
1. Make it safe for women
2. Make it less intimidating
3. Make it more accessible
4. Your biggest fail and biggest learning:
My biggest fail was at PBP 2019. I went in without much knowledge of how to get through it or the mechanics of the bike. And ended up with a broken crank. I promised myself that day that I’ll never leave the functioning of my bike to anyone else. I had to learn and understand everything about my bike myself. A bicycle is a simple machine, it’s not rocket science to figure how it works.
5. Your message to the cycling industry:
To take women riders seriously.
Especially here in India, something as simple women’s jersey and shorts are difficult to find. The frames, bikes, shoes, everything are oriented towards men. We are expected to adjust with bad fit and size.
6. What is your vision for the future of the cycling industry/scene?
- Won’t it be wonderful to have cities and infrastructure of the future planned around self powered or electric bikes instead of personal cars.
- For lot of women to take up cycling that way it becomes a common sight and it becomes safer. Also the industry is then obliged to address us.
Self-doubt is ok but get out your own way. Do not second guess yourself.
Your next big goal?
An ultra endurance race in Europe.
Your favourite snack?
your best life hack?
Wake up early and go workout first thing. Try to step out before the sun rises.
What should not be missing on any tour?
The local food.
I would love to ride with this person:
At which event will we meet you next?
Not sure with Covid.
Many thanks to Grinshina for the interview and her answers! If you want to learn more about Grinshina’s cycling life, check out her social media profiles!